The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

The Annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea Appreciation Post

Posted on | October 10, 2023 | Comments Off on The Annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea Appreciation Post

— compiled by Wombat-socho

This is the day when we remember the brave Genoese navigator who talked Queen Isabella of Spain into financing an expedition intended to sail west across the Atlantic to the Indies and their fabulous spices, avoiding obstreperous Moors and well-armed Portuguese. As we all know now, there were some sizable continents in the way, which became an abundant source of gold, silver, souls and lands where hungry young Spaniards could found estates of their own. True, Columbus never set foot on North America, but aside from some Portuguese fishermen off Newfoundland, nobody much cared about that relatively worthless land until the English decided to see what, if anything, lay on the shores of the Chesapeake and Massachusetts Bays. So: go read Morison’s epic biography of the great Christopher Columbus, appointed Admiral of the Ocean Sea by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. As for “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”, promoted shamelessly by the shameless wannabee Cherokee from Massachusetts, she who is called Fauxcahontas in the true language of her people, we could care less.
Silicon Valley delenda est.

“In this house, Christopher Columbus is a hero.” Damn right.

357 Magnum: Sweden Is Unprepared For Gangs
EBL: Happy Canada Thanksgiving Tomorrow
Twitchy: And now for some feelgood news from Danica McKellar, Obama bro Tommy Vietor whines about Israel cutting off Gaza’s power, and RFK Jr.’s siblings try to sink his third party run faster than Uncle Ted sank his car at Chappaquiddick
Louder With Crowder: Girl born a dude crowned “Miss Portugal,” will now compete in “Miss Universe” against another girl born a dude, Should Women in Relationships Go Clubbing with Single Friends?, and Joe Rogan shares shocking story about LA schools
Vox Popoli: Fireworks in Israel, How KU Destroyed the Ebook Market, An Informative Analogy, A Tale of Two Invasions, and Forza Milan!
Stoic Observations: Cricket Flour

CDR Salamander: 24,669 Americans Murdered By Terrorists In One Day
Dana Loesch: What Israel Must Do Now
Don Surber: We lost 9/11
Glenn Reynolds: Is Everything Suddenly Going To Hell?

The latest installment in Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter International series is out, Monster Hunter Memoirs: Fever, co-written with Jason Cordova, and like the other novels in the Memoirs series, this is a look into the past of MHI at some of its legendary hunters. In this case, the hunter is Chloe Mendoza, and she’s got a little something extra going for her: she’s a nagualii, a shape-shifter who’s the daughter of the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca. This comes in handy as she and the newly formed Los Angeles MHI team find themselves up against what initially seems to be a werewolf pack but -as sometimes happens with MHI- turns out to be something far worse, something that has its hooks into the local Monster Control Bureau office. Agent Franks makes a cameo appearance but serves mainly to inject more tension and mystery into an already tense situation. A solid addition to the MHI library.

John Wright’s Null-A Continuum was a wild ride. People familiar with Wright’s work may see some similarities to his Eschaton series (Count to a Trillion, etc.) but on balance it is faithful to the first two of A.E. van Vogt’s Null-A novels, The World of Null-A and The Players of Null-A*. Continuum starts with a murder that Gilbert Gosseyn appears to have committed, but he has no memory of doing so -and this is the least of his problems, since Enro the Red is on the loose again and there are apparently some non-human aliens who would like to eliminate humanity and take our galaxy for their own. Still, Gosseyn has an extra brain, Null-A training, the ability to replicate the distorter effect with his extra brain, and allies in unexpected places. This is a really good combination of A.E. van Vogt’s wild imagination and Wright’s gift of descriptive prose, and if you liked the first two Null-A novels, this will be a welcome treat.
* We will not discuss Null-A Three, for reasons Wright explains in the foreword.

The conversion of Ralts Bloodthorne’s Behold Humanity! epic from posts on r/HFY into actual books continues with Ashes, Ashes, the eleventh book in the series. The alien Atrekna, time manipulators from a dying universe and creators of a previously unseen form of berserkersPrecursor Autonomous War Machines, make their appearance in the midst of the Confederacy’s war against the Lanaktallan Great Herd, and almost immediately make a pair of serious mistakes in dealing with Terran Descent Humanity (quite aside from meddling with time, which our Universe Does Not Like) although at first it seems they’ve managed a killing blow as first the SUDS devices that allow dead Terrans to revive in new bodies go offline, and then a temporal attack aimed at “gentling” Terrans goes awry in a fashion lethal to 90% of Terran Descent Humans. This series has been an amazing mulligan stew of influences and shoutouts to all manner of science fiction and horror works from the last sixty years, and I’ll be sorry when it finally comes to an end. Highly recommended.

I met Rebecca Kuang at a Balticon some years ago, when The Poppy War had just come out, and I was so excited by the idea of a fantasy loosely based on the Second Sino-Japanese War that I went down to the dealer’s room, bought the book, and spent much of the convention reading it. Well, here we are in the third and final book of the trilogy, The Burning God, and to quote Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket, “I am already in a world of shit.” I should have known better than to accept a Washington Post review at face value, because the war our protagonist (I hesitate to call her a heroine at this point) is fighting looks a lot less like the war that started at the Marco Polo Bridge than it does like a hellish combination of the Taiping Rebellion, the Boxer Rebellion, the Opium Wars, and (to a very,very tiny extent) the war the Post reviewer thought they were seeing. This is a brutal book with a lot of nasty, horrible things happening in it, much like all the aforementioned wars, and I am taking a break from it because the amoral carnage got to be a bit much for me. I’ll finish it, if only because after reading the first two books in the trilogy I want to know how it ends, and the idea of spending $15 on a book I’m not going to finish is just Wrong. Still, if you’re not comfortable with genocide, near-constant treachery, and a very unhappy protagonist who’s not sure she’s doing the  right thing, this may not be the book for you. 
(Portions of the preceding book reviews appeared in somewhat different form in Esmeralda County Line #5, an apazine for N’APA #266.)

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